What we talked about
We just wrapped up the second week of our series called, “Jesus and Influence.” Tonight our lessons was titled, “Practice What You Preach.” It might have been a hard lesson for some teenagers to hear. We discussed that their influence is impacted by how their lives do or don’t match up with their faith. And we challenged them to commit to a deeper awareness of any inconsistencies in their lives and to focus on living more in line with their faith.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. -Matthew 23:1-12 NIV
Questions for Conversation
During the next week as you have time to talk with your teenager, consider asking the following questions:
- Do you want to be closer to Jesus? What does that mean for you? (Share with your child how you feel about your own relationship with Jesus. Be honest with ways you may struggle to be closer to Christ.)
- Would you say you “practice what you preach” when it comes to your walk with Jesus? Why or why not? (Try to just let him or her talk, and be honest with his or her feelings.)
- What are some ways I can help you to get closer to the Lord? What could we do together?